Just a small update

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In January, I wrote about my husband having a stroke on December 23.  After he spent 6 days in a local hospital, 4 which were in intensive care, we went home to prescriptions, therapy, follow up appointments and our everyday life. We pretended everything was the same, except that it wasn’t.   For him, everything was a challenge to prove that nothing was different with him, or wrong or even going on. Bill couldn’t remember things very well. His walking was a bit worse and his personality continued to change. And, well, things were definitely worse. But somewhat manageable.

Bill went back to work, I stayed home and worried.

A month later,  on January 23, I talked to Bill while he was at work. He sounded disoriented, incoherent, and something was clearly wrong,  I was afraid he was having another stroke, so we went back to the hospital. This time things were different.  Even though he acted a bit similar, there were differences which became more apparent after his admittance to the hospital. This time the Dr. changed the type of his test, to a MRI, with contrast.  This MRI showed us the ugly truth of what was really going on  in his head. Even though they weren’t sure what it was they could see on the MRI, they knew it wasn’t a stroke, since it was so big.  Less than 48 hours we were in a different hospital seeing a  neurosurgeon. Now we faced decisions we never expected to ever deal with. Once the Dr. showed us the unknown mass was a  tumor. He went on to explain what he thought the tumor was, he recommended  surgery as soon as possible to give my husband more time. He said the tumor was a 5.6 x 6  centimeter growth. Too large to remove safely to save his life, but  it would help give him more time. We filled out the Advanced Health Directive. Talked about the risk of surgery. We both knew he didn’t have much time.

Bill and I disagreed, he wanted the surgery, I did not.

Ultimately, I gave in. It was his body.

He had a craniotomy January 30, to remove the temporal brain tumor.  Made it through the surgery just fine on that Wednesday morning. By Friday we were in a different room on the Neuro floor, with a diagnosis of  brain  cancer,  and newly assigned Oncologist,Radiologists along with new appointments.

Then sent home Saturday morning, February 2. We didn’t do much, he got to  take a bath, sleep in his own bed. He didn’t really have much to say.  I was terrified.

Sunday morning.  Easy, regular, except he had the bald head and large question mark shaped incision on the side of his head.  He left the kitchen table, where he had been on the computer, said he needed to go to the bathroom. After a few minutes, he came out looking pale, holding the side of his head, saying his head hurt really bad. He went straight to his favorite blue chair,  sat down and continued to hold the side of his head.  I could see the incision was swollen larger than it had ever been. I ran for the kitchen, grabbed an ice pack  from the freezer, put the ice pack on his head, ran back for the phone to call an ambulance. When I came back to the living room while talking to the EMS dispatcher he lost consciousness.  He was sitting in his favorite blue chair.

Once the ambulance came, we discussed the plan to take him back to the hospital where he was operated on. I gave them the Advanced Directive saying  his surgeon was at DePaul, take him there. Called friends and headed back to the hospital we had just left yesterday. It was a long horrible night, he never regained consciousness.

Later when I found his birth certificate and I noticed he died in the same hospital he had been born in.

I have started thinking of myself as a widow. But its June now.

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12 thoughts on “Just a small update

  1. It is June now, and…. What, my dear? I expect there is a lot of ‘act as if’ in your days these days…?
    When my mother left the planet I would look at women as old (72) or older than her and marvel that they were still here. It seems so odd that life just goes right on when someone dear is gone.

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  2. Michele Morrison

    Kim, you are in my thoughts everyday, and I also wonder what Bill is up to. I admire you both so much, more than ever. Come visit, anytime you can leave those chickens and doggie for awhile.

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    • kimmysurviving

      I know, and now it’s July, what the heck. Even though I am bingeing on banana pudding this morning, overall I can feel a bit more clarity in the fog.

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    • kimmysurviving

      Sometimes really horrible things happen. Honestly, I am glad I developed healthy emotional skills ( mostly) going through therapy for the abuse, it has been a tremendous help during this. I think its hard to imagine why bad things happen, but I have tried to make the best of whatever it was. With out those emotional skills this would have done me in.
      Thank you for your support.

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      • I’m considering therapy for myself, mostly to learn coping skills to help Faith. But I think as a mother, I need to learn them for me, too. You are most welcome, and thank you for your support too!! 🙂

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      • kimmysurviving

        My Mother needed help too. She needed to strengthen her ability to trust herself, by understanding her self doubt, her unwillingness to see and recognize what abuse looks like and her self assertiveness. As she became more able to stand up for herself when she was mistreated, she in turn protected her children. Its a huge betrayal for her to recognize and work through. Her own ability to trust was devastated. It took her years to be able to actually be concerned with her children. But it did happen.
        So I applaud your effort, be brave, grow in your honesty, and protectiveness.. All mothers need love and care too.

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      • Thank you. I feel like I am being selfish sometimes to ask for help. I guess when this happens to your child, you just torment yourself in every possible way, including denying what is needed to be strong enough. I think that’s the hardest part: trying to be strong. Not sure if I can ever trust again.

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I know it won’t take away your pain. I came across this blog of yours because I was looking up about sexual abuse. I have been through that when I was a child. I am not going to get into it because it is not the time. Your loss is so sad and you are such a strong person through this. I really don’t know what to say but sorry. God bless you and your husband.

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    • kimmysurviving

      I hope you don’t feel pressured to share you story of abuse, it’s important to do it “if and when” we want to. There has been so much forced on survivors long before we were ready, its’ important to our healing to do things in our time so we can regain our sense of autonomy. I miss my husband everyday and everynight. He taught me so much about love that was healthy, kind, warm and affectionate. Our 20th Anniversary would have been in October. What I did was plan on a weekend retreat for writing the same time as our anniversary. I love writing and its something I would look forward to. That’s how I get through the big days.

      Keep in touch okay?

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      • Thank you to responding to my message. I have been thinking of how you were doing and your loss. You are a strong person and caring of others too. I will keep in touch. It helps when I get updates through my email so I can keep in touch.

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